That is how I feel today! Proud to be part of this little church in Abbeville, Alabama that shares God's message to diverse people in diverse ways using diverse gifts. Yes ... proud!
I am proud of you because you have embraced this "Missions Month" with passion and purpose. Proverbs 19:17 talks about how we become blessed by God when we are willing to look outward to help others. "Mercy to the needy is a loan to God and God pays back those loans in full." While I hope none of us does what we do because we "get" from God, it is comforting to know that helping the poor is something important to God ... and that should be enough to motivate us.
Sunday was a blessing to me for several reasons. First, it was a reminder that in the midst of many moving parts we can focus on the real moving that is important ... the moving of God's Spirit. From a profession of faith in Jesus to Skip and David kneeling at the altar I could barely hold it together. God's Spirit was moving in a mighty way. The Praise Team sang, "O Come to the Altar" and God led many there. We came "leaving behind regrets and mistakes" to claim the salvation, substance and purpose of God. I was blown away!
I was also blessed as 20 of us attended the Bishop's Town Hall meeting. While we did not get the total assurance we would have liked about what the future holds, we did get a reminder of what was expressed on Sunday morning. In ministry God sends us out to express His healing, His love, His truth and His grace to a world that is filled with hurt, hate, lies and injustice. The Church is a way we bring Jesus into that world. We do it by expressing the truth of the Gospel. We do it by standing with our brothers and sisters who face illness and infirmity. We do it when we bring love in the face of hate. We do it when we oppose injustice. We tell sinners that they are not made to be slaves of their sins and sinfulness and that they are made to be children of a God who wants every one of them to know Him and His salvation. We have a message and a mission. And that message and mission is expressed loudly when we say yes to God in missions that invite others to know Jesus.
I am proud to serve a church that "gets" it! It is not about our feelings or us. It is about what God is doing. This Sunday we will highlight the last of the 7 missions we are showcasing during Missions Month. We will share the cup and the bread as we share the Eucharist with people all around the world. We will do what "Eucharist" means ... give thanks. And I will give thanks for you! Randy